YouTube makeup tutorials are both a blessing, and a curse.
A blessing, because they show us how to do fancy things like the perfect winged eyeliner, creating cheekbones where there are none and shaving your face. They also let us virtually try before we buy that unicorn tears highlighter, or fork out hundreds to get our brows tattooed.
But for all their advantages, YouTube makeup tutorials are also truly terrible. Not just because one rolls into twooooo hundred videos later and dear God I should really be asleep right now.
But also because no matter how many times you practise, the end result never quite turns out the way it did on screen.
Thankfully, it looks like our skills (or lack thereof) aren’t to blame. Well, not completely.
During a casual chat with Rae Morris about her new line of makeup brushes exclusive to Mecca, the super successful makeup artist let slip that, guys, there’s actually an entirely reasonable explanation for why your makeup doesn’t look like the YouTube tutorial.
“The thing people don’t know about makeup brushes is that they’re like shoes, you need an exact fit,” she told Mamamia.
“You can get the finish you want without having to be super skilled at makeup, because it’s all about getting the brushes to fit your face. It’s so much easier to get results this way, because you don’t have to try and manipulate your brush to do different things.
“With your cheeks, you might have a small face or a large face, or an oval, so you’ll need either a small or large brush. You might have a small eye, but if you’re watching a YouTuber doing an amazing blended socket on their eyelid, and they’ve got quite a large eye, to create that on your small eye, you have to use the same brush but on a smaller scale.”
When you think about it, it makes sense. Nay, it’s genius.
So, if brushes are the key to mastering that look you’ve been coveting, how are you meant to know which ones to use? And they’re kind of expensive, what brushes should you suck it up and invest in?
“The biggest difference between someone brand new at makeup and a makeup artist is the number of brushes we own,” Morris explained.
“But you don’t need every type of brush. If you had to do every basic makeup look, you could do them with these…”
A really good foundation brush.
Naturally, Morris would recommend her own line of makeup brushes, Jishiku by Rae Morris, exclusively available at Mecca. Handmade using around 70 steps and ancient calligraphy technology, the ergonomically designed Jishiku brushes blend in three to four strokes what would take a normal brush 10-20 strokes. And they stand up on their own because they're magnetic. Oh, and Lady Gaga pre-ordered the entire range.
But back to foundation brushes.
"If you want coverage, buy a thicker foundation and use less product, but polish it into the skin and your skin will look airbrushed," she advised.
"I love brushes for foundation - sponges are great for placing product, but not so much buffing and polishing."
The Jishaku #26: Radiance Brush ($160.00) is an investment, but will deliver the 'airbrushed' foundation finish with liquids, creams and powders, without any product wastage or skin drag. You could also try the Nude By Nature Liquid Foundation Brush ($20) as a budget-friendly alternative.
An eyebrow brush.
"Next you'll need an angled eyebrow brush. It'll do better, finer brows," Morris said.
The Jishaku #16: Brow Definer Brush ($45) is a high-quality option at a reasonable price point for handmade, industry-standard tools. NYX Professional Makeup's Pro Dual Brow Brush ($19.95) could also do the job if you're not ready to commit to higher quality products.
A powder brush (that doubles as a blush brush).
Morris knows the everyday person doesn't need a million different brushes in their makeup bag. That's why she recommended doubling up and using your powder brush as your blush brush as well.
"Just be sure to get one for your face shape/cheek size," she added.
Depending on your face shape, the Jishaku #2: Mini Kabuki ($85) and Jishaku #1: Deluxe Kabuki ($95) brushes are excellent all-rounder tapered kabuki brushes perfect for applying setting powder, powder/cream bronzers, blush and contouring products.
The Revlon Kabuki and Bronzer Brush ($17.50) is a reasonable budget alternative at under $20.
An all-rounder eye shadow brush.
As for creating all the weird and wonderful eyeshadow looks you see on YouTube, you will need different brushes for those, like Morris' Jishaku #9: Detail Point Shader ($60) and Jishaku #12: Lash Line Smudger ($45) brushes.
But for your everyday wash of colour, a rounded oval eyeshadow brush will get the job done.
You can't beat the Jishuku #10: Deluxe Oval Shadow Brush ($85) for quality and softness. Yes, it's pricier than other chemist alternatives, but repeat after us: cost per wear.
This Gigi Hadid Eye Contour Brush from Maybelline ($16) will make a great short-term addition to your set to practice blending and shading.
Above all else, Morris really, really wants women to know, you don't need more products to create the looks you see on YouTube and on the red carpet.
"Makeup is hard enough as it is. I always say it's better to have less products but more brushes, and then you can make the face look polished and airbrushed."
Considering she paints faces like Pink's and Shanina Shaik's for a living, yep, we'll take her word for it.
You can browse Rae Morris' Jishiku by Rae Morris brush range exclusively at Mecca. You can also marvel at her work over on her Instagram and website.
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